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Comments on: Fact-checking George F. Will

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By: BlogArena » Blog Archive » Questions for Geoff Pullum: The ‘Grammar Gotcha’ and Political Speech

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 19:22:03 +0000

[...] extreme case (and it really does strike me as extraordinary every time I review the Language Log postings on this topic) is the allegation started by George Will to the effect that Barack Obama is an egotistical [...]

By: Lying About Language - Lingua Franca - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Tue, 15 May 2012 03:59:22 +0000

[...] in his speeches. Mark Liberman has published about 17 Language Log posts on this topic since early June 2009 (this post includes a list up to 31 March 2012; Will’s latest and most extreme assertion is [...]

By: Does Obama Use the I Word More Than Other Presidents? at B12 Solipsism

Tue, 29 Nov 2011 18:00:18 +0000

[...] course not. But that doesn’t stop bloviators like George Will from repeating this lie, nor does it stop the Fox News Enemies-of-Rational-Thought from repeating the [...]

By: Oh, the lies, the lies, the lies, the unending lies | Watts Cookin'

Mon, 15 Feb 2010 06:20:05 +0000

[...] it’s not true, as George Will and some less famous pundits have claimed, that President Obama’s persistent use of the [...]

By: אני ואני ואני ואני (וביבי) « דגש קל | כי שפה אנושית זה כיף גדול

Tue, 08 Sep 2009 20:28:45 +0000

[...] למרבה הצער, מארק ליברמן מ-Language Log, אחיו הבכיר של בלוג זה, בדק ומצא שלטענה אין יסוד במציאות, מה שלא הפריע לעיתונאים אחרים [...]

By: Rethinking the Editorial Page/George Will’s Mathematical Obama Drama « That Shallow Fellow

Wed, 10 Jun 2009 18:08:50 +0000

[...] Lefty blogs are having a well-earned field day today deploying such deadly partisan weapons as counting and multiplication against an offhand remark in a recent George Will column. Will, playing to the tired meme that [...]

By: Caoimhe Snow

Wed, 10 Jun 2009 06:44:30 +0000

For fun, it's kinda amusing to look at stuff Will's said that's been transcribed, like this interview, and count the first person pronouns. Fun...but also a waste of time.

By: Ron in NC

Tue, 09 Jun 2009 22:44:15 +0000

If you all spent as much time and energy on researching and debating, say, the health care problem, we'd probably have a solution! [(myl) I wish. The sad thing about this case is how little effort is required to debunk the "Obama's Imperial I" meme. I've put a total of about three hours into running texts through a script and writing posts about it. There aren't many significant public policy problems that can be solved in that amount of time. ]

By: More silliness from National Review. « Benton Powers

Tue, 09 Jun 2009 18:49:35 +0000

[...] George Will, Ms. MacDougal could use a refresher course herself. Let’s look at Ms. MacDougal’s specific [...]


Tue, 09 Jun 2009 18:27:05 +0000

Some questions from a (mostly) casual observer. First, is there a reason you sampled Obama's first press conference only instead of including his first two press conferences like you did for Bush and Clinton? I'm curious whether it makes a difference. From my own attempt to determine the answer, it looks like the percentage of first-person singular pronouns decreases in Obama's conference #2. [(myl) I ran the counts on Obama's first press conference, and on the first press conferences of the previous two presidents. Then I noticed that the word count in their press conferences was less than half the word count of Obama's. (I don't think it's that he's generically wordier, just that there was a lot more going on at the time of his first encounter with the press.) So I added a second press conference from each of the other two, just to get the numbers into the same range. ] Second, did you only count "I," "me," and "my"? What about "I'm," "I'd" and "I've"? My (admittedly unscientific) count including those last three words increases the count in that first conference from 205 to 242 (still a lower percentage than Bush or Clinton, but the difference is not as drastic). [(myl) I counted all of those -- here are the totals that my program got for all first-person pronouns in that press conference, both singular and plural: 126 i 126 we 41 our 35 my 29 we're 20 i'm 19 us 18 we've 15 i've 8 me 3 ourselves 2 we'll 1 i'll 1 i'd The total for (forms of 'I') is then 163, and for all the first-person singulars it's 206, not 162 and 205 as I reported -- it looks like I made a mistake in transferring the numbers to the weblog, a mistake that I'll now correct. The percentages are changed only in the second decimal place (e.g. 2.65% rather than 2.64%). I'm not sure how to account for the large number of extra forms of 'I' that you found. Perhaps you counted some of the reporters questions as well as Obama's answers? Email me about it and we can figure out offline what happened. ]

By: me me me « unconquerable gladness

Tue, 09 Jun 2009 17:20:18 +0000

[...] 9, 2009 · No Comments mark liberman counters the notion obama is an uppity sumbitch with, well, facts: I took the transcript of Obama’s [...]

By: Chris

Tue, 09 Jun 2009 17:19:22 +0000

One needs simply to see or hear the words of our president to observe the ego and imperious attitude he conveys. Given certain people's intense resistance to put such a statement on any sort of objective footing whatsoever, I don't suppose it's possible to say anything more to this than "My subjective impressions of President Obama are very different from your subjective impressions of President Obama"; which they are, but that's more or less par for the course for subjective impressions (and, IMO, a decent working definition for subjectivity itself).

By: gweil

Tue, 09 Jun 2009 16:10:18 +0000

Vacuously counting pronouns really indicates very little about a leader's approach to leadership. "I have asked my advisors..." has 50 % more personal pronouns than "I made it clear that..." but they convey distinctive approaches. One needs simply to see or hear the words of our president to observe the ego and imperious attitude he conveys. This is no common man. This is no humble man.